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Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism Paperback – September 17, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
Top Customer Reviews
Although the issue has become less pressing with the collapse of the fervor of the internet economy, it should be noted the type of mass evictions in favour of live/work lofts is still a common occurrence in San Francisco, and that housing is still beyond the means of many ordinary San Franciscans. Despite the less fervent pace of gentrification, those in the funeral procession presented in the opening pages will not be returning to their homes; the character of their neighbourhood will not be restored.
The work is a mild success. Although somewhat obsolescent, it is still relevant, whether because of its still necessary impressions on the hearts of those who read it, or as a presentation of a historical phenomenon. But furthermore, as a literary work, and as a visual work, it is beautiful both in its prose and photography.
Solnits' writing is eloquent, and she shows herself more artist than political activist in avoiding finding easy answers and easily assigning blame in the exodus of artists from San Francisco, and the loss of old neighborhood fixtures, shops, community and cultural centers. Far from being outdated, as commenters in 2002 wrote about this book published in 2000 (since the dot com bubble had brief blip....), the problems the book describes have continued and the city has become even more unaffordable and exclusive. Solnit doesn't really blame any group of people in particular, but rather says, "wealth has proven able to ravage cities as well as or better than poverty."
Some describe this book as myopic, and though I wouldn't use that term, I found myself disliking and disagreeing with the link made between artist and activist or artist and disaffected person in an urban setting.Read more ›
the book's overview of sf history is fascinating, and well-presented. solnit did a thoughful, unbiased job of evaluating the housing crisis in sf and its effect on the creative energy of the city. her metaphors are apt, and overarching points are salient.
a highly recommended read to anyone who cares about san francisco history, or who has bemoaned the exodus of its artistic inhabitants.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was outraged when I read this book... but not in the way you would think.
Published in 2002, this book is already quite dated. Read more
The historical journey Solnit takes through the reoccurring demise of San Francisco's bohemian culture only leads to sob stories in the end and does little for her cause. Read morePublished on March 27, 2003
Well now that the dot com bubble has burst volume II can be the eviction of gentrification.Published on March 17, 2001 by Robert Hughes
THIS SNAPSHOT HAS ALREADY FADED. THERE IS NO ANALYSIS OF GATHERED INFORMATION HERE - RATHER SKEWED JOURNALISM WITH AN AGENDA. Read morePublished on February 3, 2001 by Thomas Simister